Switchfoot and Jon Bellion have teamed up to share a newly recorded rendition of the former's 2003 hit "Meant to Live," as reimagined by Bellion.
The spellbinding new version arrived Friday, and it is absolutely beautiful, as singer-producer Bellion puts his very personal spin on the track, which includes an intimate string arrangement by legendary arranger John Metcalfe (Coldplay, Peter Gabriel). It was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios.
“I think 'Meant to Live' is one of the best written songs of all time," says Bellion. "That song is actually one of the reasons I got into music. I remember the energy on the song that was so healing, honest, and I felt like a human being. I felt like, ‘Wow, this is probably how all humans probably feel.' That song opened a lot of insight for me on how to write records where you can connect with me. I thought, ‘If it doesn’t connect with me like ['Meant to Live'] connected with me when I was a kid, then I shouldn’t be writing it."
Bellion adds: "If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would be covering this song 'cause the band would be approaching me for one of my favorite songs of all time to reimagine the song in a way I saw fit, I’d be completely honored.”
Earlier this year, Switchfoot marked the 20th anniversary of their triple-platinum album The Beautiful Letdown by taking a nod from Taylor Swift and re-recording it and releasing it as The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version), along with an upcoming anniversary tour starting in August.
Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman recalls how the new rendition came about: “Years ago, Jon Bellion mentioned Switchfoot in a tweet as an inspiration for a song he was working on. I hit Jon back to tell him that I’ve loved his stuff for years. Since then we’ve stayed in touch, texting from time to time. Fast forward to this year, when we started re-recording The Beautiful Letdown; we had a lot of friends reach out with stories about how that album had impacted their lives. One of those friends was Jon Bellion… hearing Abbey Road strings playing a John Metcalfe arrangement with Jon Bellion’s voice singing those lyrics felt like a graduation (maybe the graduation that this college dropout never got!). It’s like I’m hearing the song for the first time, and I wonder who wrote it, and where music even comes from—Bellion and I were talking about it the other day, how this version of the song truly illuminates the lyrics in a new way.”
And now, hear Bellion's version below.